What’s in a name? For us, everything. The word “abelana” means “to share amongst each other” in the language of the Northern Sotho people who inhabit the region of Limpopo that’s also home to Abelana Game Reserve. After extensive research we chose the name because it sums up the ethos of sharing that underpins our business model and the relationship we have with the reserve’s owners – the Mashishimale community.
The Mashishimale community won a landmark land claim that restored ownership of the land to them. Instead of using the land for farming or hunting, they took the visionary decision to use it for conservation and eco-tourism purposes, partnering with MTH Lodge Holdings to create Abelana Game Reserve as we know it today. We are working closely with the Mashishimale community to help them realise their dream of preserving their land for generations to come, while at the same time directly benefitting from it in a sustainable and responsible manner. So, the spirit of “abelana” – of sharing amongst each other – is very much part of our DNA. It inspired our logo too, which shows two hands coming together in the spirit of sharing.
Sharing happens at every stage of a guest’s journey too. From the moment we welcome them to Abelana Safari Camp we begin to share our love of the African wilderness with our guests, teaching them about the plants and animals that call Abelana home, sharing traditional stories and beliefs, showing them the incredible way that ecosystems work to ensure the survival of untold species of fauna and flora.
We share our knowledge and our passion for hospitality, from the way our housekeepers prepare the tents each day to how our guides make each game activity unique and exciting. Our chef shares a boundless love of food, expressed each day in the wonderful meals prepared for our guests – each made with fresh, locally sourced ingredients.
And when our guests leave us, they share their amazing experiences with their friends and family, and the spirit of sharing comes full circle. So, our name is absolutely who we are, and what we do. We hope it’s a name you’ll never forget!